Opus One – Past, Present and Future: 1979-2012 (Jun 2013)

Black cherries, plums, tobacco, incense, new leather, licorice and savory herbs take shape in the 1980 Opus One. A wine of extraordinary richness and pure power, the 1980 impresses for its depth and size. Absolutely nothing is out of place in this impeccably refined, layered wine. Cinnamon, cloves, menthol, hard candy, tar and licorice all flesh out on the rich, resonant finish. Today, the 1980 is firing on all cylinders. It remains a monument to the greatness of California wine. The growing season was long and cool. A late season heat spike pushed the fruit to ripeness, and the winery struggled to pick everything during what turned out to be a fairly narrow window. Tim Mondavi told me that, today, under similar conditions, the fruit would be picked much later. Back then, the custom was to pick only on sugar ripeness. The 1980 is 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc.